Today author Emerald O’Brien joins us at Second Run Reviews for our In the Spotlight feature. Emerald is a new adult author who, when she is not writing spends time with her husband, their puppy dogs and watching movies. Sounds a little like me…replace puppies with cats! Welcome, Emerald!
In the Spotlight Emerald O’Brien
Welcome to Second Run Reviews, Emerald! Thank you for being In the Spotlight. I appreciate you stopping by and answering a few questions. So let’s get things started.
In a tweet (140 characters or less), tell us a bit about yourself.
I am Canadian, and live with my husband and our two beagle pups. Lover of books; mystery and suspense are my favs, and movies (love horror).
Well, I need to be better with my research. If I had known you were from Canada, I would have loaded this interview with travel advice since I’m venturing to Canada soon for my summer trip. But since I apparently need to improve upon my research skills, I’ll move on to the next question I have prepared.
Please share your journey to becoming an author. What keeps you going?
My journey probably started when I wrote my first real story in grade school. Since then, I’m sure I’ve always loved writing, and subconsciously wanted to be an author. Before I went to high school, I knew my dream was to write novels as a career. I’ve written stories ever since, but I took different paths that led me away from that career choice. I went to college for TV Broadcasting and Communications Media, but never got a job in that field.
In 2012, I decided to pursue my dream. I knew I wanted to self-publish after speaking to many indie authors, and after finishing my second complete novel, I made the leap. I have never been more passionate about my work, and that passion drives me to keep writing, publishing, and improving. I feel grateful to be able to finally live my dream.
Congratulations on being able to live your dream! That’s the goal in life really, right? Find your passion and get paid doing it. My passions involve reading and drinking coffee. I’m still trying to get someone to pay me for it. 🙂
New Adult is a relatively new genre. What does being a New Adult author mean to you? How do you get someone who has never read New Adult to pick up one of your books?
This is a really great question. Being a new adult author means writing for the age group that has previously been overlooked in many other categories of novels. Characters that age (and the brackets of this are debatable), from 18-28, have been written, but putting them into this new adult category makes it easier for readers to find a book that reflects the experiences and choices people face at that age. I hope that helps readers get a better feel for what my books will be like.
I write new adult mysteries, and I was inspired to write them because I couldn’t find any, yet I wanted to explore a part of the mystery genre I felt was missing. I have found combining the two has given my stories a fresh perspective, as it has with other new adult books I’ve read combined with well-known genres.
That’s a great explanation of new adult and does give me some perspective on what familiar genre your books fit in to.
What was the most difficult thing about getting published? What was the easiest? If you had to go back and do it all over again, is there any aspect of your stories or getting published that you’d change?
I don’t know if there was anything particularly challenging about it. Formatting my books for certain distribution channels was a challenging task at times, as I took it upon myself. In general, asking for help from other authors, and looking for things indie authors had blogged about helped me a great deal on my publishing journey.
The easiest part was that I had control over my finished product as an indie author. I wish I had gotten my book professionally formatted at the start, but it wasn’t in the budget then to do it, so you work with what you have. I consider my stories a mark of my experience, and I feel each one gets better, so I wouldn’t change anything about them.
That’s sounds similar to my journey as a blogger. I google a lot and have spent hours hovered over my Macbook trying to find the right word for a review or get something to line up just right. The internet is great when it comes to figuring out how to do things.
What type(s) of books do you enjoy reading most and what three books to you find yourself recommending to your fans over and over?
I love horror, mystery, romantic suspense, literary fiction, science fiction, and dystopian the best. The three books I will always recommend: anything by Stephen King, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, and The Passage by Justin Cronin.
Well, you are braver than I. I am not a fan of horror so I haven’t tackled much Stephen King. I tried to read The Stand once and got frustrated. I have read The Green Mile and would say it is one of the best books I have ever read.
What’s your current obsession? Any secret obsessions you want to share?
I’m obsessed with Stephen King. Always. I’m also obsessed with becoming a better writer, signing up for workshops, studying the craft in writing books, and reading. A secret obsession that few people know—I’m obsessed with the fact that I get to read my friends work before it is published and ask them lots of questions about it.
I think that’s one of my favorite things about being a blogger! The chance to read books before they are released and being friends with authors and learning about their latest projects. It’s so exciting!
Any last thoughts or wise words you want to pass along?
I want anyone who is reading this to know that if you love something and are passionate about it, you can make it happen. The rough times of struggle won’t last, and the time passes regardless, so use it to do something that makes you happy. Don’t give up on it! Thank you for the interview!
Excellent advice! Now I must go google how to get paid to read and drink coffee. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by Second Run Reviews, Emerald. I hope you’ll stop by again and bring us up to date on future projects. And thank you for sponsoring a giveaway. I wish you luck in all your future endeavors.
author interview emerald obrien